UN: Many Malaysians marrying 'too early', leading to health and career issues

United Nations resident coordinator in Malaysia Michelle Gyles-McDonnough warns that too many Malaysians are getting married too early in life, jeopardising their health and career development.

"The 2010 population census indicated that about 80,000 married women in the country were aged between 15 and 19 years, while the corresponding number of young married men was 70,000.

"Far too many young people are married very early, putting their mental and physical health at risk because they have to shoulder the commitments of marriage," said Gyles-McDonnough to reporters after launching the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) State of the World Population 2014 report in Johor yesterday (Dec 16).

She said that "too early marriages" involved youths below 18 years of age. 

Life of dependency

"Couples who marry too young are not equipped to be part of a productive labour force within a high-income nation, rather, they are relegated to a life of dependency.

"Also, child marriage, because it usually results in early pregnancy, is linked to deaths from complications arising during pregnancy and childbirth," said Gyles-McDonnough.

The report highlighted that among 1.8 billion people aged between 10 and 24 worldwide, most of them were based in developing countries.

It also took note that child marriages were among the challenges faced in these countries, including Malaysia.

Source: The Star Online

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